Gender and the Extractive Industries

 

Experience and research have shown that extractive industries have not benefitted local communities much in Africa. Women and girls tend to suffer both directly and indirectly from the negative impacts of such industries. Due to historical reasons, women and girls tend to be more economically disadvantaged thus putting them at a higher risk of exploitation and underpayment. Evidence from research also shows that extractive industries undermine their natural environment, health and other rights.

Claude Kabemba's picture

Director of the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW)

January 13th, 2014

 

Experience and research have shown that extractive industries have not benefitted local communities much in Africa. Women and girls tend to suffer both directly and indirectly from the negative impacts of such industries. Due to historical reasons, women and girls tend to be more economically disadvantaged thus putting them at a higher risk of exploitation and underpayment. Evidence from research also shows that extractive industries undermine their natural environment, health and other rights.

Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Gender And The Extractive Industries

i.        Government mining legislation and policies must include specific provisions on gender equality and equity to empower women in the mining sector.

ii.      Government must develop and implement programmes to increase women’s participation in the extractive sector and ensure the retention of skilled women in the sector, including through affirmative action.

iii.      Government must introduce communication and sensitisation programmes to remove cultural barriers preventing women’s effective participation in, and contribution to, the mining sector in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW 1979).

iv.      Government must involve women in the adoption of extractive policies and introduce punitive policies aimed at discouraging gender discrimination.

v.        Government must ensure that existing associations of women in mining are given adequate support, such as organisational and financial resources, including direct funding by Government. These groups must also include rural women’s groups.

vi.       Women miners must be provided with extra security measures against violence and sexual abuses and harasment.

vii.       Government and companies must promote capacity building by deliberately targeted women and girls.

About the author(s)

Claude Kabemba is the Director of the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW). In 2006, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) asked him to spearhead the formation of SARW. He holds a PhD in International Relations (Political economy) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Thesis: Democratisation and the Political Economy of a Dysfunctional State: The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo). Before joining SARW, he worked at the Human Sciences Research Council and the Electoral institute of Southern Africa as a Chief Research Manager and Research Manager respectively. He has also worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Centre for Policy Studies as Policy Analyst. Dr. Kabemba’s main areas of research interest include: Political economy of Sub Saharan Africa with focus on Southern and Central Africa looking specifically on issues of democratization and governance, natural resources governance, election politics, citizen participation, conflicts, media, political parties, civil society and social policies. He has consulted for international organizations such Oxfam, UNHCR, The Norwegian People’s Aid, Electoral Commissions and the African Union. He has undertaken various evaluations related to the work of Electoral Commissions and civil society groups interventions in the electoral process in many African countries. He is regularly approached by both local and international media for comments on political and social issues on the continent. His publication record spans from books (as editor), book chapters, journal articles, monographs, research reports, and newspaper articles.

Contacts

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